Specialised Diplomas

A member who has attained a General Diploma or has an exemption, is eligible to submit work for a Specialised Diploma in one of the categories listed below. The requirement is for 15 images whether as prints or PDI. (Contact the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information on the Specialised AV Diploma.) When submitting work for a Specialised Diploma the photographer, in most cases, will be asked to provide a statement of intent of no more than 100 words describing the purpose, objective or intent of the work.

Abstract & Pattern

To illustrate through a series of visually pleasing yet diverse images, a personal world of abstraction that's simultaneously intriguing and visually stimulating.

Action & Movement

To illustrate, through a series of related images, information, interest, details and a sense of narrative, the effects of action and movement.

Applied

Applied Photography has a specific end purpose or use and not one already included within the Diploma Scheme as a specific topic . 'Applied' includes all professional photography as well as many other disciplines such as: documentary, theatrical, wedding, photo-journalism, astronomy, 3D, drone, scientific, medical, archaeology, etc.

Architecture

To illustrate through a series of related and well-balanced images competence in photographing architectural subjects, both exterior and interior.

Black & White

Any subject matter is acceptable but the images must form a visually pleasing presentation. The images should inform the viewer about the subject, show good camera and photography craft skills and have sufficient variety whilst being coherent to the theme. Personal input and expression are encouraged.

Close-up & Macro

To illustrate through a series of related images, information, interest, details and a sense of narrative about a topic. For example, suitable themes and subjects could include any small object such as coins, model soldiers, small flowers and insects.

Contemporary and Conceptual

This genre of photography is one which explores, defines, illustrates or evaluates issues through a single or a series of images. The work is 'about' the subject rather than merely 'of the subject'.

Creative

To illustrate through a series of visually pleasing yet diverse images, imagination in manipulating reality to produce an individual and stylistic set of pictures.

Exhibition and Competition

Images for this submission are not required to be thematic, however images concerning a topic (such as nature, architecture, landscape, fantasy, etc) are acceptable. The intention is to present images that are of a style likely to succeed in the highly charged environment of competition photography.

Experimental

To illustrate through a series of visually pleasing yet diverse images, imagination both in production and manipulating reality to produce an individual and stylistic set of pictures.

Fine Art

People often ask what Fine Art Photography is. Fine Art is about ideas or an exploration of a concept that has been worked through to produce a final piece of or body of work and therefore is not an 'instant image'.

Illustrative / Record

To illustrate through a series of related images, information, interest, details and a sense of narrative about a topic. For example, suitable themes and subjects could include such things as a building (church, castle, etc), details about an interest (a hobby, a collection of objects, etc), a process (manufacturing, craftwork, etc), unlike a 'Photo-Essay', a personal perspective or point of view is not a requirement.

Landscape

The definition includes seascapes. To illustrate through a series of related images competence and understanding of the genre with the use of appropriate format, exposure, composition and quality of light. A modest level of enhancement and manipulation is acceptable, such as the removal of extraneous detail and clutter, improvement of mood through added atmospheric conditions (mist, sunlight, etc) and the replacement of skies.

Monochrome & Split-tone

This diploma allows for variations in the approach to monochrome where toned work is acceptable. For example, sepia, copper, cyanotype blue, etc. Split tone (duotone and tri-tone) work is also acceptable where up to three monochrome tones are combined in one image.

Nature

This includes all branches of natural history, embracing zoology, botany, and meteorogy. Images entered in NATURE section need to meet the definition of Nature Photography and can include landscapes, geologic formations, weather phenomena, and extant organisms as the primary subject matter.

Night-time & Low Light

To illustrate, through a series of related and well-balanced images, competence in photographing subjects, both exterior and interior, in low light. The photographer must show an understanding of how to produce images in low light using equipment such as a tripod in conjunction with prolonged shutter speeds, correct focus & aperture settings together with good composition.

Photo Book

A photo-book should be based on a topic of substance with photography of suitable strength plus layout, design, typography and sequencing that supports the purpose of the book. All these elements should combine to the overall feel of the book as an object. Both online and hand-made books are equally acceptable.

Photo Essay

To illustrate through a series of related images, information, interest, details and a sense of narrative, information about a topic. As examples, suitable themes and subjects could include a place (village, town, building, etc), an interest (the arts, a hobby, a railway, family history, etc), a process or skill (blacksmith, engineer, weaver, etc)

Portraiture (Animal)

To illustrate through a series of related and well-balanced images competence in photographing animals as 'portrait' subjects rather than as 'Natural History'. The subjects can be taken under controlled lighting (including natural lighting with reflectors) or in a studio environment, or outdoors.

Portraiture (Human)

To illustrate through a series of related and well-balanced images competence in photographing human subjects, both indoors and out.

Printing

The purpose of this Diploma is to encourage applicants to gain skills in making prints that are up to the standard required for exhibition photography and good illustrative work.

Still Life

Still Life photography is a genre involving inanimate objects placed together in a composed and contextual order and including a background. These are typically small objects, but can be many different kinds of objects including a random collection of objects taken from everyday life.

Street

Street photography is a type of photography that features subjects in candid situations within public places. Street photographs are mirror images of society, displaying "unmanipulated" scenes, with usually unaware subjects.

Studio & Controlled Light

The purpose of this Diploma is to encourage participants to explore the use of additional lighting to enhance and improve their pictures. Controlled light can range from the simple addition of fill-in flash to studio lighting and creative lighting for a complex set.

Travel

To illustrate through a series of related images an expression and feeling of a time and place; the portrayal of a land, its distinctive features or culture in its natural state. There are no geographical limitations.